The Lies We Tell

No matter how moral or honest or candid you are as a human being, the chances are good you routinely say things you don’t really mean.

  • I’m not trying to PR on Sunday. I just want to finish.
  • Of course he’ll call!
  • No, no, you take the last slice of pizza.
  • I’m not mad at you, I swear.
  • I’ve thought it through. A 60-pound dog would totally thrive in my New York City apartment.
She just has to sleep on the couch.
She just has to sleep on the couch.

Time to add one more to the list:

  • I’m going to race a triathlon on July 28th!

As you may recall, I announced in mid-May plans to train for a sprint triathlon along the scenic Rhode Island coast this summer in an effort to diversify my workout routine and enter marathon training stronger, fitter and less injury prone than I would have been had I spent the past eight weeks running nothing but reservoir loops.

“The spice of life!” I’d said. Turns out, the only thing in my pantry is wonder bread.

The truth is, I initially had full intentions of running/swimming/biking this weekend’s race and even went so far as to put in the preparatory work. For nearly two months, I supplemented my running routine with freestyle laps and harrowing Brooklyn bike rides, and were I being chased today by a bear along a quarter-mile waterway, an 11-mile bike course and a 3.1-mile roadway, there’s no doubt in my mind I could cross the finish line unscathed (unless that bear is riding a Schwinn five-speed, in which case, God help us all).

But there’s more to racing an event than physical preparation. In order to enjoy yourself during a sustained period of athleticism/dehydration/bear-drifting, you not only have to have built up the stamina and muscle mass to perform, but you need the right mental mindset as well. And I simply wasn’t going to have it.

Call me Debbie Downer, but after traveling out of the city for three straight July weekends, the idea of commuting up to Rhode Island for another excursion away sounded more depleting than refreshing, even if the people I was set to visit are among my favorite in the world. Throw into the mix the fact that I’m starting a new job bright and early Monday morning, and I knew I wouldn’t have been able to fully enjoy myself racing on Sunday in a whole different state. With my thoughts undoubtedly set to be elsewhere, the event didn’t quite seem worth the $85 registration fee, even if it came complete with a sweet neon swim cap. 

But while I won’t be throwing myself into the Atlantic Ocean this weekend with 500 of my closest friends, I in no way regret my summer of mock triathlon training. At this time last year, I could hardly sit down for fear of snapping in half my aching IT bands; this summer, I’ve swum and biked my way to a level of overall fitness that can’t be beat. And as I transition out of multi-sport training into 40-mile running weeks, that extra base of fitness is going to be a welcome buffer indeed.

So here’s to the second half of summer 2013. No looking back! Only looking forward here on out – as well as lovingly into a certain pooch’s adoring gaze.

Yes, Elton, I CAN feel the love tonight.
Yes, Elton, I CAN feel the love tonight.

What curve balls has the summer thrown your training plans? Matt Harvey, this one’s for you.


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